Stefan Ewert, Biochemiker

Research for Health

Stefan Ewert is a biochemist who’s passionate about research. Since 2002, when he finished his PhD thesis on antibodies at Andreas Plückthun’s lab at UZH, he’s been working in industry, first at a start-up at the Technopark in Schlieren, and then from 2004 at the pharmaceutical company Novartis in Basel. He’s still there, heading a team of more than 20 people doing research on the development of therapeutic antibodies. Having grown up near Cologne, not far from the company Bayer, he realized early on that after his degree in chemistry he wanted to work in industry rather than in academic research. So for his PhD thesis, he chose a subject related to antibodies with a practical bent, and came to Zurich. “I looked into the stability of various classes of human antibodies,” explains Ewert. This work paved the way for a career at the interface of basic and applied research. When in 2002 he got the opportunity to join a biotech firm, he didn’t have to think for long. “I’m interested in concrete applications to resolve medical problems,” says Ewert. At the pharma company in Basel, he gets to live this passion. His talent for dealing with people also helps. “I’m a networker,” explains team leader Ewert. His conclusion: “A career in industry doesn’t rule out interesting research.”

Stefan Stöcklin